World Social Forum

6 June 2005

World Social Forum

The World Social Forum (WSF) developed out of the anti-capitalist movements in the late 1990s. It was created to provide an open platform to discuss strategies of resistance to the model for globalisation formulated at the World Economic Forum at Davos (Switzerland) at which neo-liberal intellectuals and political leaders meet to discuss and supposedly solve the problems of the age. The first WSF was held in 2001 in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, a city of 1.5 million people. Both the city and the state are governed by the Workers' Party of Brazilian president Lula. There are 30,000 participants. The forums in 2002 and 2003, also held in Porto Alegre, saw the movement grow rapidly, as the WSF came to symbolise the strength of the anti-globalisation movement and became a rallying point for worldwide protest against the American invasion of Iraq. More than 100,000 people attend the fourth WSF in Mumbai (India), a city with a population of more than 30 million people governed by the extreme nationalist right. The next WSF is planned for Porto Alegre in 2005; the sixth forum is planned for Africa.

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